I Love Italian Travel - Carnevale Season In Campania
Campania on the eastern coast of Italy lies south of Latium, the region that contains Rome. Campania is a land of contrasts, home to the jet-setters and filled with poverty-struck areas as well. I think that the town of Santa Maria a Vico, population about fifteen thousand, located some 20 miles (30 kilometers) northeast of Naples and the city of Caserta, population about eighty thousand, located some 17 miles (25 kilometers) northeast of Naples should be especially proud of their Carnevale. Among the floats at the parade is "The machine of Uncle Scrooge" which is exclusively dedicated to children with disabilities, for example transporting them from one venue to another. I don't know how many other Carnevales and Carnivals have such facilities, but Santa Maria a Vico-Caserta is showing us the way. They have three days of dancing, music, fireworks and parades with additional children's activities.
The town of Villa Literno, population ten thousand, is situated about 15 miles (25 kilometers) northwest of Naples. Their claim to fame is "A safe Carnival without eggs, jokes and spray." I certainly agree about the eggs and the spray. Even the use of aerosols is minimized. It is called the "Carnival of the families." Festivities start with school parade including a miniature float. Later there is a race between the floats in which fans egg their favorites on, but only figuratively. There are neighborhood games that include a soccer tournament. The whole atmosphere is festive with floats, costumes, music, dancing, and satirical skits reminiscent of the medieval "Fabulae atellana."
Carnevale's impact here or elsewhere is by no means limited to the few weeks that it runs during February or March. Its impact is really felt all year long, especially in small towns and cities. Hundreds of young people spend months preparing it all. They learn how to work together, more and more with people from different backgrounds and even nationalities. Interestingly enough, during Carnevale preparation time the crime rate often drops quite significantly. There are plans in Villa Literno to represent foreign communities in a "virtual multi-ethnic neighborhood."
Agropoli, a resort town of approximately twenty thousand, is lucky enough to be situated on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The local Carnevale has been running for about forty years (let's not compare with other Italian ones that add a zero to this number). I understand that preparations start in September. It claims to be the most spectacular one in all Campania and I suggest that you take a look at all three and decide for yourself.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but he prefers drinking fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods and people. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website http://www.travelitalytravel.com which includes information on Italian wine and food.